“The least that can be said is that is what American paleontologist Bob Gastaldo calls the tree his group describes in the trade journal Current biology. The tree may not have had a wooden trunk, but it had a stem as thick as a lamppost, wrapped in hundreds of huge leaves, and topped with a kind of feather duster about five meters across. “As if it came from the imagination of children’s book author Dr. Seuss,” the team writes in an explanation.
The old trees weren’t really that big, about three meters high. This may indicate that life was already busy exploring the “mid-elevation” at that time, between the low plants on the ground and the treetops above, Gastaldo believes. The tree also proves that evolution experimented with the concept of a wide array of leaves over a thin stem hundreds of millions of years before the first palm tree appeared.
This species began to appear, one fossil after another, seven years ago in a quarry in the Canadian province of New Brunswick. At least five copies have now been found. Below this is a very special depth fossil, showing how the leaves were spirally wrapped around the stem and branched upward.
The trunk reminds wood expert Frederik Lens (Leiden University) a little of the “false trunk” of a banana tree, he says when asked. “These leaves may have provided extra strength, because the trunk may not have been very strong. It’s really a very strange fossil.” The tree itself somewhat reminds the biologist of the canopy trees that sometimes grow after forest fires or other disasters. “Although that doesn’t mean anything like this happened here.”
Tree according to its location Sanfordiacolis It dates back to the Carboniferous period (359 to 299 million years ago), a period in which forests colonized more and more areas. Dinosaurs, mammals or other known prehistoric animals did not yet exist: amphibians mainly crawled around, and giant dragonflies soared through the oxygen-rich air.
The unusual tree reminds Lens of the early evolution of flowering plants, after 125 million. “We now know that all sorts of evolutionary lines have emerged, most of which have become extinct. Here too evolution seems to have tried everything. It is beautiful and exciting that there was so much diversity in these primeval forests long before flower plants appeared. Although I I think we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg in terms of craziness.
Toilet brush shape Sanfordiacolis Not by the way. There is no single version known from later periods. Gastaldo believes this indicates that the tree may have died quickly.